「まさかあの娘がプリンセス」 (Masaka Ano Musume ga Purinsesu)
“Who Knew She’d Be a Princess?”

Finally, after 10 whole episodes, we have the one thing we’ve never seen before – a Tamako episode! With the “Tamako-sama” bomb dropped, all eyes are on her, and she doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with the attention.

An Unexcited Tamako

As word about the prince spreads, quite a few characters were excited about the news. Well, at least Shiori was – oh Shiori, you romantic you! For everyone else, that’s not quite the right word. They had strong reactions, let’s say that. Mochizou, Midori, all the shopkeepers – they were all surprised, to say the least. But Tamako?

“Choi-chan’s just mistaken.” Tamako really isn’t your stereotypical, brainwashed-by-Disney protagonist, is she? What struck me most was that she was much more excited about the medal than she was about this potentially life-changing revelation. It makes sense – dump something like that on a girl all of the sudden and what is she supposed to think? Besides, Tamako is a humble girl, to her eternal credit – she doesn’t need to become a princess to be happy. She’s plenty happy right now.

What I also found interesting was how two particular males didn’t seem too excited about the prospect if Tamako becoming the princess either. The most surprising was Dera, who seemed very skeptical about the idea. It’s worth remembering that, as silly as he may be, Dera is a very perceptive bird, and he has lived with Tamako for nearly a year now. I think he knows that Tamako belongs in her market. As for the other, that would be the prince himself. In the opening scene it didn’t seem like he was all that excited about their customs, or the upholding thereof. There might be hope for you yet, Tamako…and Choi-chan as well.

We Want Her To Be Happy

The principle arc of this episode can be summarized as “I want her to be happy, but I don’t want her to go!” From tsundere papa to Mochizou to Midori and all the rest, the thought of Tamako leaving was not one they were happy with. KyoAni drove this point home pretty well, though I had a problem with one point. When Midori, Kanna, and Shiori were outside talking about how they were a bit scared about this sudden change, the music kept getting in the way! I wanted the scene to be more reflective, so that I could worry with them and feel their unease, but as usual it seemed like Tamako Market was determined to blunt anything that threatened to raise the emotions to high. Feh!

Better was when Mamedai talked with the Master afterwards. (Irish Coffee? Master truly is the best!) To quote everyone’s favorite record store owner:

“There are some things you can gain by letting some things go. Happiness isn’t just what you have here and now.”

By the end of it, everyone was willing to let Tamako go if that’s what it took to make her happy…even if that’s not what Tamako wanted at all.


The point of this episode was uncertainty. I spoke about this last week with Sakurasou (and I really need to write a Stilts Out Loud on this – those will return soon, sports fans!), but let me quickly summarize – even if we “know” how a story is going to end, as long as the writers can make us doubt it – even for just a second – they can elicit an emotional response. After all, we know the good guys are going to win (excepting horror stories), but sometimes things get so bad we’re not sure, right?

That’s what they were doing here by having everyone “let go” of Tamako. To take Tamako out of her market…it’s unthinkable, right? But now, it’s almost like she would grow more by leaving. It’s almost like, maybe her happiness is out there somewhere, perhaps with this prince? Compounding that is the fact that the prince is a really nice guy, making it hard for us to say “Screw that bastard!” Hey, just maybe…

No, probably not. They still gave us several outs, such as the prince’s apparent reluctance and Choi not having read Tamako’s fortune before, not to mention Tamako’s own far more obvious reluctance. What’s more, an effective use of uncertainty requires a level of emotional impact which Tamako Market only brushed on (one might argue accidentally) during episode 9, and has never come close to reaching before or since. No, I still think Tamako will stay in her market, at least for now. We just have to wait to find out for sure.

Looking Ahead

Final episode ahoy! There’s not much left to say other than point to a relieved Dera in the preview. I suspect that will be for Tamako’s sake, but could it be for his own. Could we be looking at a confession scene!? Dera x Tamako? Oh noes!!

…Juuuust kidding! Probably. Definitely certainly probably. (Maybe!)

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Everyone is shocked &/or excited that Tamako (may be) a princess, except for Tamako herself. She’s happy, but…!? #tamakomarket

Random thoughts:

  • D’awww, Tamako loves mochi! Nom nom nom.
  • Loved how Tamako was singing the song her dad made for her mom, and how it made him all embarrassed. Tsundere dad remains best dad!
  • Oh Kanna, you and your support beams! If the prince is taking Tamako, can I have Kanna? Please? …pretty please?




  1. That Tamako and Anko scene was just too adorable. I’ve always thought they were the superior sisters this season, but this episode cemented it. I thought it was Tamako that needed the comforting in that scene, but Anko was probably cherishing another moment with her beloved older sister who may or may not be whisked away by the prince.

    I gotta say, even though I’m not a Mochizou x Tamako shipper, I was quite angry that even he told her that “As long as you’re happy, I’m happy” line. That’s a line only a herbivore would say and this change of events really should’ve made him man up. I know he’s not supposed to be that kind of character, but some growth on his part would be good. Well, there’s one more episode, so who knows… To be fair, I was also hoping Midori would be a little more proactive in her already obvious protest, but perhaps this is all happening too quickly for both her and Mochizou to process.

    On the other hand, I thought the shoutengai folks thinking they had to “let go” of Tamako was just too cute. It’s really heartwarming that she’s so loved by everyone that they had a meeting just to discuss her potential leaving.

    Tamako being more excited about the medal showed just continued to show that she prioritizes the shoutengai above all else. I’m actually curious how they’ll resolve it so that Choi ends up with Prince Meccha, or at the very least that Tamako gets out of this would-be princess title. Either way, this has been a really great ride and I’m quite pleased with this series. Very sad it’ll be over next week.

    1. …but perhaps this is all happening too quickly for both her and Mochizou to process.

      I think that’s it. I don’t think it’s in either Mochizou or Midori’s natures to thrust themselves forward like you wanted – if so, they would have done it long ago. When a serious external threat arose, I’m not surprised that they backed off. It might not last, but they at least need a little time to process this before they can act.

  2. Poor Tamako. Everyone’s trying so hard to give her the freedom to choose that they don’t realize that what she wants is for them to say “no, we love you, please stay with us.”

    1. I don’t think she wants that necessarily, it just sounds like everyone is saying “Go!”, when what she really wants is them to say “Do what makes you happy.” That’s all anyone ever wants, after all.

  3. I almost want her to leave and then come back home (after a few more instances of bonding with her new friend, and perhaps a revelation, aka “I still think I belong at the market”), so that we get to see and compare how she functions in both environments. The idea of her either not leaving or leaving forever seems a bit foreign to the plot direction. I just hope the whole thing isn’t anticlimactic.

    This ep really made me reflect on what happiness is, and how much of it ties in with our comfort zones and sense of security. Enjoy the little things and the simplicities of the life seems to be the underlying mantra to most slice-of-lives, but then one starts to think if that transfers well into the real world. When does being easily satisfied become equivalent to being lazy? When does having pleasure in the little things result from not seeing enough new things and having new experiences? It seems that for Tamako, the reason why she’s so happy about the medal and so detached from the fact that she’s probably going to move to a foreign land permanently and be married off is because she has only so much experience to even analyze the impact of this change: she can only see it from the market’s POV: “They want me to leave that much?!” Her numbness is a reflection of her ignorance and innocence, and it makes sense that her emotional feedback to this event is limited. There seems to be a paradox sometimes, esp in Asian cultures, where people are expected to evoke pleasure at the smallest details but remain calm, collected, detached, and modest at large changes, whether they’re good or bad.

    1. The answer, as it so often is, is in balance. Enjoying the little things is something that most people don’t do well enough, and could use more of–yet, if you take it too far, you’ll never really change. We all ought to take pleasure in the small things, but recognize when we’re being complacent instead of content and take that opportunity to move.

      It’s a delicate dance, this world of ours.

  4. I think the biggest surprise was seeing Tamako get angry to the point where she snapped at her father. I was rather warrented but it still seemed unusual for her. Oh sure, we’ve seen her upset before (when her grandfather was sneaking Dera food) but I don’t think we’ve seen her actually angry before.

    Throughout the episode I could tell that Tamako was under a lot of stress, she pretended not to be affected by it but her lapses in her ordinary behavior and just the way she carried on throughout the episode showed just how heavy the whole situation was weighing on her.

    I also liked Dera’s role in the episode, it shows just how much a part of the market family he has become, and it shows some of his greatest character traits.

    Screenshot Carnaval!!!
    “I could crush your skull, like a nut, but I won’t, because I need you”

    I sure hope this show ends before I end up in a vore comic

    Communion for bird church

    “Awwww, it’s not chocolate!”

  5. Dera’s gotten further with Tamako than Midori or Mochizou ever have.

    In any case, it looks like we won’t get a resolution to that particular love triangle.

    Doesn’t matter though because KannaxSupportBeam is my OTP.

  6. As much as I am hoping for a happy Mochizou ending, Midori’s pain over current events is just as obvious as his.

    Maybe the final episode will have ALL the confessions!! 8D

  7. Man I don’t know if it was on purpose but this episode was trying to be funny and serious at the same time and as a result it ended up not conveying the deep uneasy feeling this kind of drama usually creates. If it was a more serious anime and we found out the main heroine was going to get married off while there is a more known male character who is in love with her we’d all be feeling uneasy, frustrated and cornered but this episode of Tamako Market wasn’t able to do that, I laughed a lot more than being drawn in by the implications of Tamako getting married to the prince and leaving her beloved shopping district.

    Did you all see how Shiori seems to have grown a crush on the Prince? It would be hilarious if at the last moment the prince decides to take her as his bride instead haha

    1. I don’t think Tamako Market wants to be at all dramatic. It keeps blunting those feelings…which, of course, begs the question: why include this whole (ripe for drama) prince plot thread if they’re determined to disallow any serious drama?

      I don’t have an answer to that one yet.

  8. Every visual clue I see points to Choi-chan being in love with her Prince. We were told that
    even though they share the same name, they’re not blood related. Honestly, I think this is
    following the story line of travelling thousands of miles to search for [the prince’s] love when
    it’s been right next to him the whole time [in Choi]. That’s my guess.

    I also got the impression that the Prince was a little reluctant to even send Dera off for the search.
    So I wonder if the Prince is secretly in love with Choi but his customs may consider it tabo?
    Also, Choi’s criteria for a bride seems to intentionally side-step the qualities that really matter;
    could Tamako fall in love with her prince and could Tamako move far away and leave everyone at
    the market. I dunno, but a mole on one’s neck (no matter how cute) doesn’t cut it for me.

    One episode left – everybody’s at the market (I wonder where the Prince + staff is going to sleep),
    is there a hotel in the market..?

  9. All directions not only point to Choi being in love with the prince, but to Tamako staying at the market as well. There will be no way she’ll actually leave forever. No one can see this happening at all. In the meantime, though, I feel sorry for those characters who can’t handle the possibility of it. Tamako is interestingly not upset at leaving itself, but everyone’s reactions to it. It really shows that she cares for everyone in the market!

  10. Who cares about being a princess when you can have a golden medal? Now to a more serious offense…

    WHERE IS THE DAMN DRAMA!?ヾ(。`Д´。) Was I really the only one expecting for Midori and MOchizou to throw chairs and turn tables over after hearing Mechya speak?
    Where is the anger!? Where is the tagteam effort?

    Next week is the last episode, and I haven’t seen any resolutiion in the romantic section. I swear I’m going to die if it’s just left like that.

    1. You didn’t see everyone become sad and torn up over Tamako possibly leaving? You didn’t see Mochizou be shellshocked and eventually telling Tamako he’ll support her decision? You didn’t see Tamako go on an incredibly cute tantrum, or that brief fight with her father, or her father getting drunk? I think this will be the most dramatic this show will get.

      1. I think that’s great! Okada Mari is a great writer.

        That said, while this is drama of a sort, there is a lack of feeling in it. KyoAni doesn’t seem to want to encourage anything to be too serious. Such a shame, but that’s not in the “slice of life” feeling they’re going for here.

    2. While I agree that they could have turned up the drama dial a bit, I thought it went too high in Chu2koi (even though I loved that episode independently) and well, as Ananas said, look at Okada Mari shows. I think she’s an okay writer, but things can just get too ridiculous for my tastes (see the final episode of AnoHana). So I think this episode of Tamako Market makes a lot of sense with the entire vibe of the show, as anything more dramatic would be be too fundamental a change to the show’s recipe.

      On that note, ultimatemegax posted a translation to the interview with Yamada Naoko and Yoshida Reiko in Animage 11/2012 on AnimeSuki. There’s quite a bit of insight to the show and how it led to what it eventually became and it made me appreciate it even more. I particularly love the “Everyone loves Tamako and Tamako loves everyone” segment.

    3. I’m not against this kind of mood in this series in fact I’d rather they go with this than go overboard. I don’t want an abrupt drama with only 2 ep left(now being 1).

      On a side note what pissed me off was Mochizou. While we can say that Midori also had her tail between her legs, it doesn’t seem that bad since most of the time Midori was there to support Tamako. Mochizou on the other hand, he felt lacking and dare I say his character feels neglected.

      This episode would’ve been the best way for him to shine and or have some spotlight at all. But no… They just went through and made Mochizou say those words to Tamako which ticked her off.

      While watching the live stream I can’t help but say, god dammit Mochizou grow a pair. I just hated this aspect of him for this episode since they decided to make him be that way in such a crucial time which would’ve left him in good light.

      I’m not saying that he should confess or anything, it’s just that I would’ve wished he talked with Tamako more. This just seems as if he wasn’t even that close to Tamako. What the hell is that string phone for!? For show!?

      1. The rivalry between the two mochi shops? Never amounted to anything by the end. The next door neighbor that has a crush on Tamako? Never had a huge grasp on the story. Midori’s feelings for Tamako and her feeling that Mochizou was impeding on them? Kind of resolved within one episode in the middle of the series.

        Way to mis-market this Market show!

      2. Well the rivalry was just for comedic relief. It’s very substantial to even try to flesh out.

        I just feel bad that in Tamako’s generation, one of her close childhood friend is just a guy with a crush on her. Nothing more, nothing less.

  11. Oh Shiori, never knew she’s the type to be dreamy about “fairy tale” weddings.

    Oh Kanna, her obsession with exotic works of carpentry knows no bounds. XD

    Poor Midori, her desire to be close to her teddy bear is in jeopardy.

    Poor Mochizou, his feelings are in danger of being unrequited for good. (Man up already, dammit)

    Poor Dad, realizing he can no longer cling on to his beloved daughter forever, but still…… (Dera for once is badass in providing a “manly” consolation for Dad)

    Poor Choi, her obligation to her duty has made her block out her true feelings.

    Poor Tamako, being thrust into a situation she is entirely unfamiliar with, and not knowing who to rely on.

  12. Does the Prince just keep his left hand on his chest at all times? It’s kinda freaking me out.

    Also, lol at Kanna’s theorizing.

    Really feel like if they tried to push the emotion levels just a tad bit higher, this could’ve been a good depressing episode. Everything managed to come off moe (Tamako’s anger…dance….thing…too fucking adorable. ._.) though I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  13. There is a contrast between the two fortunes presented in this episode. One is the medal, signifying Tamako’s diligent work over many years. She set a goal and went about to achieve it. Of course she is happy to have that accomplishment. The other is the marriage. It’s something that suddenly fell into her lap, it’s not something that she has thought of, and it may not be what she wants in the end. Of course she’s frustrated at everything. I just think that story wise, KyoAni did a great job of intersecting these two fortunes.

    1. Very true. The medal was a good way to juxtapose the different kinds of accomplishments (if you can call the maybe-a-princess one an accomplishment at all, being that she didn’t seek it).

    1. Oh, it happened. I just didn’t mention it because if I talked about every HNG moment in a KyoAni show, my posts would be 3x as long. I’ve got too much to do for that!!

  14. More mangaka’s and anime creators should take Kyo-ani’s example on how to draw a proper child character. Anko is completely flat-chested which is how a little girl character should be potrayed. I feel too many little girls characters in anime nowadays have tiny breats when there is really no need for it its just there to appease the loli crowd.

  15. Who is that girl in 15:56?

    She is sitting beside Sayuri in the meeting and comments that Sayuri is back.
    Shes not there in the characters page in the official site.

    Kanna’s sister?


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